I blogged some time back about how I moved a terminal server which was a Hyper-V guest from Sydney to Brisbane in 7 seconds. People have asked me how I did that so I figured I’d put some notes together for you on how to use ShadowProtect to move a server quickly from one platform to another. You might not achieve the same 7 seconds that I did, as it depends on many factors, but one thing is for sure – you will save time using Head Start Restore (HSR) than using any other method.
What is Head Start Restore? There are two types of Head Start Restore. One is a manual or push HSR and this is accomplished using the ShadowProtect product. The other is an automatic or pull HSR which is a feature of ImageManager Enterprise (an additional module from StorageCraft). I’ll focus here on the manual method as this is the one that many of you will use to do single server migrations.
To start with you need to have installed, properly licensed and activated ShadowProtect on your Source Server. You will need to have the NAS device that is your Backup Repository configured on your network so that it is accessible from your Destination Server. You need to configure a backup job to backup the Source Server – I recommend using Continuous Incrementals as this is the way to keep the incremental change files as small as possible. Once you have your backup job configured – run the first backup – this will be a full backup as there is no other backup in existence at this point in time. Depending on the size of the volumes that you have being backed up, this may take a while. You need to allow this to complete before you continue on with the process. Once that backup is complete, you can allow users to continue to user your Source Server as they normally would. Any changes that that make are being captured by the Continuous Incremental backups that are being done. You can leave the Source Server running at this point.
Prepare your Destination Server by ensuring you have adequate disk space to take the images from the Source Server. Connect it to the same physical LAN as the Backup Repository. Boot the Destination Server from the ShadowProtect Recovery Environment CD or the ShadowProtect IT Edition. Configure the partitions on the Destination Server as required – this will often require a reboot. Once you have rebooted into the ShadowProtect Recovery Environment, configure networking to map a drive to the Backup Repository where the Source Server images are stored.
Now start the Restore wizard. Select the image you want to restore – this will be the most recent image. Follow through the wizard and confirm where the partition will restore to on the destination server. You will get to the screen titled Finalization Options as per below. By default the “Finalize the volume at the end of the restore” is ticked.
Remove the tick and select Next then continue with the wizard to begin the initial restoration of the volume.
Now that the initial restoration has completed, DO NOT REBOOT. Leave the Destination Server in the ShadowProtect HIR environment.
On the source server, complete another incremental backup and then shutdown the server.
Once the source server is shutdown go back to the Destination Server and commence another Restore from the Restore Wizard. On the 2nd screen of the wizard select “Restore subsequent incrementals” and select Next.
Select the same destination disk as before. Select the most recent incremental backup for this volume. This will be the one you did moments ago before you shutdown the source server. Follow the wizard for the next two screens to confirm where the partition will be restored to.
On the Finalization Options screen, ensure you select “Finalize the volume at the end of this restore” and then select Next.
Now specify to do a Hardware Independent Restore (HIR) after the restore is complete and select Next.
The Restore wizard will complete the restoration of the last incremental. This will be very fast. Following the restore, it will automatically initiate the HIR. During the HIR I was doing, it asked me for additional drivers for the VMBUS device. This was because I was restoring this machine into a Hyper-V virtual environment. You can locate additional drivers on the ShadowProtect Recovery Environment by browsing to the CD and looking in the Additional_Drivers folder as per below. These drivers are required in order for the machine that is now virtualised to boot up correctly. Failure to use them may result in a blue screen of death during boot up.
Ok – once the HIR process is complete, shutdown the machine and eject the ShadowProtect Recovery Environment CD.
Power on the machine and all going well you will get the login screen as below.
After you login you may be prompted for Activation – follow through with this to activate the machine.
And now you are done!
Adam Ferris says
Great read again mate.
SP and IME are the best tool I have invested in, in my IT career..
Wayne Small says
Thanks Adam – appreciate the comment.
Rob Pelletier says
Great article! Not only useful in a DR situation, but will come in handy in the near future when I perform a server migration with a short downtime window. Thanks for this.
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